Designer Susan McLeary is taking the jewelry world by storm with her incredibly stunning accessories made from living plants. She uses real succulents hand-picked from her family-owned greenhouse to craft intricate headpieces, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and other pieces of bio-jewelry that literally grow on you.
Each piece from McLeary’s ‘Passionflower’ collection can be worn for two to four weeks before the plants begin to grow off their metal base. When this happens, wearers can simply remove the succulents from their metal base and re-pot them to keep in their homes. The brass jewelry bases can still be worn on their own. If the pieces are worn for special occasions like weddings, the potted succulents become all the more significant.
McLeary, who has worked with leading floral designers across the US, has spent years combining her two loves – plants and jewelry – and refining her style. “Before I was a florist, I made jewelry for friends,” she revealed. “When one such friend got married, she asked me to design her wedding flowers in addition to her jewelry. As I had her flowers in my hands, I knew I’d found my medium. One wedding turned into many more, and before I knew it I was working as an event florist. I still adore designing for weddings, but have found that I enjoy creating floral wearables and (not surprisingly) floral jewelry even more.”
“I make each piece by hand, paying careful attention to composition and color,” she added. “Each jewelry piece is made with locally sourced plants from a family owned greenhouse and jewelry bases sourced from other small businesses. The jewelry is intended for special occasion wear, but if treated gently, the jewelry can be enjoyed for a few weeks. These pieces are perfect for weddings, as bridesmaids gifts, birthday or anniversary gifts, or as the perfect complement to an amazing party outfit.”
McLeary’s exquisite designs are available for sale on her Etsy store, ranging from $20 boutonniéres to $300 statement necklaces.
Photos: Susan McLeary